Gàidhlig / English
Faclan na Gàidhlig ann an Albais Chatach agus Gallach

Faclan na Gàidhlig ann an Albais Chatach agus Gallach

Posted by Calum on 22th August, 2019
A couple of months ago I wrote two blogs about Caithnessian Gaelic, discussing interesting, local words in Caithness, with some words similar to Sutherlander Gaelic and MacKay Country Gaelic. The Doctor Alasdair MacMhaoirn got a hold on us and Dr. MacMhaoirn has been doing research on Gaelic words in Caithnessian and Sutherlander scots today, Wick and Rogart especially. He has gathered and recorded words and he has been very generous to give us some of the words he has. It is for the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness that he has done this work and you should keep an eye out for his paper in the time to come!

[Some of you will have noticed already that I have written “Albais” instead of “Beurla Ghallda” but because “Albais” is easier to write each time. Despite the complaints I will recieve saying “it’s one of the worst neologisms ever in Gaelic”! – To the complainers, here is a proverb from the Sutherland Machair area, “Am fear a bhios ’talach [a’ gearan] sa’ bhaile-sa bios e ’talach sa bhaile ud thall” [“The  man who complains in this town, he will be complaining in that town yonder”!]
Although there are many marvelous words in the paper we wont be able to examine and research some of them this week, without revealing too much of Dr MacMhaoirn’s research! We will have a look at the words he recorded and words we have in our corpus.
  • Airt from àird, such as “àird an iar”.
  • Baak, from bac, that somes from Old Norse, bakki.
  • Birrach, from biorach but in this case birrach means a jealous person.*
  • Boorag, from bùrag, meaning a heathery peat divot used in thatching, but it could mean a peat divot in our corpus.
  • Buss, which comes from bus.
  • Cawnach>, (bog-cotton) from canach.
  • Cir-cavaig, (ragged robin) from churrac-cubhaige.
  • Cown, (to weep) bho “chaoin”.
  • Crellag, from chreithleag.
  • Deathin, from dhetheodha and te-theotha.
  • Deisal, from deiseil.Interestingly the word Diùc, Juke in Scots, is said instead of “tunnag”. It is said in the paper that one would say tuig tuig to call the house-birds, the same word is used in both cases here.
  • Faddish, from fàlaisg.
  • Farsach, from farspach, farspag neo arspag.
  • Gevelag, from gobhlag.
  • Gabag is said, meaning “a sharp or snappish person” (Dwelly). The word Gobag in the corpus is very similar to it. Interestingly gobaidh is said in Embo for an oystercatcher.
  • Gill-towal, from gille-t(oll) or deal.
  • Gilpin, from gealbhonn.
  • Glaur is very similar to glàr, or poll. perhaps this word has come from Scots as instead of Gaelic.
  • Groser, from gròiseid, or crobhrsag in the dialect of the district.
  • Hairy brottag, from bratag and it is brudag that we have in the corpus from Embo.
  • Laraig, laireag, another word for uiseag, topag no riabhag.
  • Lissean-leesach, from lus an leasaich.
  • Live, from “làmh” (hand) although live means “bas” (palm).
  • Me-an, mòthan (common butterwort).
  • Moo-ag, from maothag.
  • Mullach, from “mo luach/m’ ullaidh”.
  • Nether, from nathair.
We will continue with another blog next week. Do you know any of the words above? What are your opinions of the scots words that are influenced by Gaelic? Let us know on facebook, twitter and our own website!
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